Spring Tuneup…Running

Hello and Happy Spring…wherever you are! It’s that time of year when we tend to get outside more and ramp up our activity and training. And if you are a ground-based athlete, that includes running.

Ground-based athletes, or terrestrial beasts, are those whose sports require them to move athletically with their feet on the ground. This means running. Whether you are a team sport player, a sprinter, or an ultramarathoner, doing a few simple things with your seasonal running progression can be extremely valuable. 

To be succinct, I’ll offer the following three tips which are recommended by running coach Steve Magness, author of The Science of Running.

  1. First, run BETTER.
  2. Next, run FASTER.
  3. Finally, run FARTHER.

Do those things, in that order, and you will improve your performance, reduce your risk of injury, and maximize your enjoyment. 

So how does one accomplish such tasks? Easily. Let’s provide a few descriptions of what each of those tips entails.

To Run Better, employ resistance exercise, mobility work, and drills to enhance your technique. Improving your form, strike and stride phases, and artistic execution of the running movement is the foundation of your locomotive mojo. Be a student of your sport.

To Run Faster, work on your pure speed. Polish your acceleration and maximum velocity mechanics. This will improve your running economy and efficiency at every pace.

To Run Farther, gradually progress the distance/time/volume of running, at the pace specific to your goal, that you can perform while maintaining those good mechanics. No matter what type of progression method you utilize (short to long, long to short, undulating, block periodized, etc.), you always want to maintain form as you extend distance. Never teach the neuromotor system bad mechanical habits by schlopp-flopping for distance at the expense of quality. Doing so will eventually bite you in the backside.

There’s a quick video on The Lifetime Athlete YouTube Channel which provides you with some visual examples of these concepts.

OK…that’s it. If you’d like to learn more about how you can become a better and faster runner, and get some one-on-one coaching for your running goals, check out the coaching services I offer at The Lifetime Athlete. Thanks for reading and good luck with your running!

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